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Managed Service Providers: Frequently Asked Questions

Managed Service Providers: Frequently Asked Questions

In an increasingly online world, the importance of IT cannot be understated for businesses.

Most companies (89%) expect their IT budgets to grow or stay steady in 2019, with the need to upgrade outdated IT infrastructure is the biggest driver of these budget increases (source).

However, balancing the upgrades and maintenance of your IT infrastructure, as well as the day-to-day IT needs of your employees and customers can become an overwhelming experience for your IT department.

Choosing a managed services provider can help to alleviate this problem – keeping your systems business as usual – allowing your IT department to focus on improving business efficiency and performance.

But, first…

 

What is a Managed Service Provider?

A managed service provider (MSP) is an organisation that remotely manages a customer’s IT network and infrastructure, as well as their on premise or cloud applications.

Providing extra IT support when you need it most, managed service providers acts as an extension of your IT team – ensuring that your business’ IT systems remains secure, robust, and operational.

Typically, MSPs operate under a subscription model, creating a scalable IT solution that allows you to choose the coverage that’s the best value for your organisation.

How do Managed Services work?

When outsourcing your IT to a managed service provider, you will have an initial consultation to assess your current IT environment. The infrastructure you have invested in, the systems you use, and your end-to-end applications will be reviewed to ensure that you receive the most suitable managed services support for your business.

As a leading managed service provider, we proactively review your security, infrastructure and system performance and let you know if there are any areas of concern, or network improvements. We also monitor and detect threats to your system in real time, taking immediate action when required, while keeping you informed to protect your business.

 

What Services can an MSP Offer?

Typically the services that a managed service provider can offer your business is tailored to your IT needs. Typically services provided include:

  • IT Support – keeping your infrastructure operational and secure.
  • Endpoint Protection – monitoring your applications and network to ensure all suspicious activity is detected and re-mediated.
  • Compliance – ensuring you are GDPR compliant.
  • Firewall Management – managing your firewall, making sure it’s always optimised and up-to-date to guard against the most recent advances in security threats.
  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) – constantly monitoring the integrity of your entire IT system, and creates an alert if any potential weaknesses are detected.

business advice

Why Choose a Managed Service Provider?

There are many benefits to working with a managed service provider. Here’s why your business should consider working with an MSP:

  • Cost Effective – by only paying for the cover your business needs, you can rest assured that your infrastructure is secure without needing to break the bank.
  • Flexible – if you only require office-hours support, there’s an option for you, or if you need round the clock, 7 days a week support, you can have the option that gives you the level of managed IT support your business needs.
  • Peace of Mind – enables you to focus on your business without having to worry about your IT.
  • Expertise – working with a managed service provider allows your business to access a wide pool of knowledge that may not be otherwise available within your in-house IT team.
  • Secure – proactively monitoring your IT systems and infrastructure ensures that your business is protected from evolving security threats.

 

How much do Managed Services Cost?

The cost of working with a managed services provider varies depending on the support your business needs.

At Nouveau, our IT support services are flexible, so you can choose the Service Desk coverage that’s the best value for your organisation. So, whether you need 8-5 support, or 24-7 assistance, we have a range of managed service packages to help ensure your business continues to operate at maximum efficiency.To learn more about managed services, and how we can help keep your business’ IT secure and operational, speak to one of our expert consultants on 0118 918 6822.

Alternatively, you can get in touch via our contact form.

How to Improve Your Business’ Cloud Security

How to Improve Your Business’ Cloud Security

Every day, cloud security threats to your business are becoming more complex, sophisticated and difficult to detect. With 77% of cyber-attacks in 2017 involving the use of file-less malware and exploits to compromise data and/or infrastructure, it’s now more important to ever to ensure that your business’ cloud applications are secure.

Here are four ways that your business can improve its cloud security.

Authorisation

Ensuring your employees only have access to the data necessary to performing their business functions can help mitigate a large amount of risk for your business. Creating different access permissions within your organisation can help make sure that if one of your employees were compromised, there’s a smaller chance that the hacker would gain access to all of your customer and business data.

Layered Security

Going for a single crown jewels approach to your business’ cloud security can be good, but why take it for granted? Even Medieval Lords and Ladies knew not to rely on just the security of their castle gate, often creating a multi-tiered defence, including high walls, moats and ramparts, so that if one layer is penetrated, not all is lost.

The same principle applies for your business’ cloud security. Whilst an all-in-one application can protect your business enterprise, if it is compromised, your business will be left unprotected. In total, there are six layers to consider when securing your cloud applications:

  1. Human – teach people to spot scams and be careful when storing and sending important information.
  2. Physical – ensure your physical assets are protected from theft or damage.
  3. Endpoint – protect devices from running malicious programs that could jeopardise data security.
  4. Network – secure connections between computers. Monitor entry and exit points, encrypt communications, and keep an eye out for anomalies.
  5. Application – test applications to ensure they don’t provide avenues for attacks.
  6. Data – ensure that only the right people all have access to the right data at all times.

Learn more about how your business can benefit from a Layered Security solution.

Authenticate

The traditional username/password combination is no longer good enough way to authenticate who is accessing your applications. Of 10 million compromised accounts analysed in a recent report, it was found that just 25 passwords made up more than half of the list.

To ensure that your business remains safe in the cloud, it’s not only important that your employees are using unique, secure passwords, but are also utilising two-factor authentication. Using two-factor authentication can be an effective way to make sure that users are who they say they are, and adds an additional layer of protection around your logins.

Build Your Firewall

As the major line of defence against cyber threats to your organisation, your firewall needs careful configuration and a high level of ongoing maintenance. Whilst many cloud applications offer robust security, more additional cloud security measures can be applied to your applications, to provide extra peace of mind.

As cyber threats become more sophisticated we advocate a layered security approach to improve your business’ cloud security. We recommend the Fortinet Security Fabric, which delivers broad protection and visibility to every network segment, device, and appliance. Applications today are everywhere, and securing applications at the stack is now the new perimeter. Fortinet’s next-generation security solutions deliver comprehensive protection for your business.

How we can help

As experts in cloud security, and a Fortinet Platinum partner for many years, we can install, configure, monitor and manage upgrades to your organisation’s firewall, ensuring it’s providing the maximum defence for your cloud applications.

Get in touch with one of our expert cloud security consultants today.

What Is Endpoint Security? Everything You Need To Know

What Is Endpoint Security? Everything You Need To Know

Endpoint security is the process of protecting your business’ network through the securing of endpoints – internet-capable devices such as desktops, laptops, smart phones, tablets, and wireless printers.

There are two types of endpoint security:

  • Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP): An Endpoint Protection Platform is a preventative tool that provides reactive protection scanning files once they enter your business’ network. This typically takes the form of traditional antivirus software.
  • Endpoint Detection & Remediation (EDR): An Endpoint Detection & Remediation platform provides a more proactive solution, continuously monitoring all files and applications that enter a device. This provides greater threat detection, and in turn greater protection for your network.

In order to protect your business and allow it to operate safely and securely, we advocate for an Endpoint Detection & Remediation solution, such as SentinelOne’s Endpoint Protection Platform, which proactively protects your network’s entry points from advanced malware exploits and other cyberattacks that would look to do your business harm.

Why You Need Endpoint Security

Analysing over 35,000 companies and a large number of publicly disclosed breaches – BitSight Insights found that over 2,000 organisations were running more than half of their computers on an outdated version of an operating system—which makes those companies nearly three times as likely to experience a publicly-disclosed breach.

Mobile working is on the rise, with a report from the Work Foundation at Lancaster University predicting that, by 2020, more than 70% of businesses will have adopted flexible working policies.

This creates a challenge for IT Security professionals, as each device remotely connecting to the business’ network creates a potential entry point for security threats. This is especially prevalent when it comes to mobile workers not having access to on premise updates that can provide added protection for networks.

With threats increasing in sophistication and frequency, it’s become even more important to ensure that stability of your network security.

Benefits of Endpoint Security

  • Security across all devices: you’re only as strong as your weakest link, and with an endpoint security platform in place, you can rest assured that your business’ barrier to entry is solidified.
  • Stop attacks before they can do damage: detecting and mitigating threats where they start not only provides greater security to your network, but can greatly reduce the costs associated with remediation.
  • Increased productivity – cyberattacks can slow down computers to a crawl, and in some cases such as the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack, shut them down completely. This makes work practically impossible. Effective endpoint security eliminates this possibility, maximising your business’ potential output.
  • Protection for your customers – ensuring that your business is secure from cyber threats will also help to protect your customers, who could be susceptible to a cyber breach by proxy.

How We Can Help

Nouveau are one of SentinelOne’s first UK managed services partners.  With extensive cyber security experience gained from over 25 years of helping clients to mitigate threats across networked, application, cloud and mobile environments, we can offer your business a comprehensive endpoint security package.

Our endpoint security managed service will monitor your endpoints and eliminate threats via proactive monitoring and integrated response in order to protect your business and allow it to operate safely and securely.

To learn more about SentinelOne’s Endpoint Protection Platform, and our managed endpoint security services, get in touch today.

Entering a New Era

Entering a New Era

Earlier this month our Managing Director, Andy Stevens, spoke to Comms Dealer about the recent of acquisition of Nouveau Solutions by VINCI Energies – a strategic decision that has led the business to be in a stronger position than ever before.

Reliving our journey from our humble beginnings to our establishment as an industry-leading IT Managed Services Company. We’ve selected a few of our highlights from Andy’s interview below – you can read the full article here.

Our journey

“Our first big deal in 1995 brought money into the business and enabled us to start building a team and a regular client base, key milestones include achieving Microsoft Gold competency, Fortinet Platinum Partner, moving offices, achieving ISO27001 and 9001 and creating our own SaaS platform

We have built a SIEM proposition and proactive monitoring team, our security side of the business has more than quadrupled. We have also seen a reduction in traditional infrastructure as businesses move to the cloud and associated services. Current focus areas also include SD-WAN, vulnerability management, Security as a Service and building out our cloud stack.”

Choosing the right buyer

“The initial discussions on a possible sale began about a year ago… it was a case of understanding what we did, whether there was a fit and if there was a personal ambition for this to happen. There was no rush nor pressure. But as we continued to grow organically we felt that we could accelerate our growth through the right acquisition.

And, after our best year of trading, we still recognised the expansion we wanted would not come simply through organic growth alone. We didn’t want to sell our business to a private equity firm. We wanted to ensure that our existing team were on board and continue to support our growth moving forwards.”

Meeting the needs of our team

“We were not looking at the time we were approached by VINCI, however, after considerable due diligence and many conversations it became apparent that this could be a viable option which would give us what we personally wanted as well as meeting the needs and ambitions of our staff.

Around 20 per cent of our team have been with us for 10-plus years, we have a low staff turnover, practically no sickness and have built a great positive workplace.”

A time to maximise opportunities

“[VINCI Energies’ acquisition] in effect gives us a whole new channel opportunity, the support of VINCI will make Nouveau a more commercial proposition for new clients with sizeable deals. Our main priorities now are to transition the business and maximise the opportunities available to us through building relationships with other business units, while not taking our eye off the ball.”

About Nouveau

Nouveau Solutions is a specialist IT Managed Services Company with a strategic focus on delivering cloud, infrastructure, compliance, network, and security solutions. We focus on making the complex simple, delivering results for your organisation.

To discuss how we can help your business maximise its use of technology to harness growth – speak to one of our  IT consultants today on 01189 186822.

Complete Guide to FortiGate Firewall

Complete Guide to FortiGate Firewall

As a key component of your business’ IT security, a firewall acts as a guard against harmful traffic, protecting your data and preventing unauthorised access.

Whether it’s through hardware, software, or a combination of both, a firewall should be at the core of your network, determining which traffic you let into your network and which you keep out.

What is FortiGate Firewall?

FortiGate, a next-generation firewall from IT Cyber Security leaders Fortinet, provides the ultimate threat protection for businesses of all sizes. Utilising purpose-built security processors and threat intelligence from FortiGuard, a FortiGate firewall delivers unmatched performance and protection while simplifying your network.

Fortinet offers FortiGate models to satisfy any deployment requirement, from the entry-level FortiGate-20 series for small offices and retail networks to the FortiGate-1500 series for large enterprises.

How Does FortiGate Firewall Work?

In short, a FortiGate firewall works by examining the data that flows in to your network and verifying if it is safe to pass through to your business.

Lower specification firewalls will typically examine this data by information such as its location and source. This information will then be evaluated against a set list of permissions to assess whether it can be allowed through.

A firewall provides front line defence against security threats, however, as cyber criminals become more sophisticated, it becomes more challenging for just a firewall alone to defend against the myriad of cyber-security threats., which can be encrypted behind what appears to be a reliable source.

In 2019, Gartner estimate that 80% of traffic to your business will be encrypted, with 50% of attacks targeting businesses, such as yourselves, hidden in encrypted traffic.

With purpose-built security processors, working alongside top of the line threat detection from FortiGuard, FortiGate firewalls provide advanced protection, even from encrypted traffic, for your business.

FortiGate Firewall Features

  • High-performance threat protection – such as web filtering, antivirus and application control ensures that your business is not harmed by cyber security threats such as Malware and Social Engineering.
  • Mission critical application protection – highly scalable segmentation and ultra-low latency to protect network segments.
  • Automated risk assessments – automated workflow and auditing features lifts the burden on IT department.
  • Security ratings – adopt ‘best practice’ security measures, with security ratings provided by FortiGate.
  • Independently certified and continuous threat intelligence – ensures you’re protected from known and unknown attacks.
  • Enterprise class security management – allows you to manage security assets regardless of location.
  • Security Fabric integration – share threats across the entire IT security infrastructure to provide quick and automated protection. Learn more about the Fortinet Security Fabric.

Why Choose FortiGate Firewall?

IT security threats are constantly evolving, and your business needs to evolve with them. As we move in to a business environment that is more connected than ever before, one breach could be enough to create serious consequences for your organisation.

A FortiGate firewall can provide you, and your business, with the peace of mind that your business is protected from the latest threats.

What Does FortiGate Firewall Protect Against?

The next-generation FortiGate firewall can protect against a number of security threats. Including:

  • Malware
  • Spyware (Grayware)
  • Phishing / Social Engineering schemes
  • Pharming attacks
  • Instant messaging viruses
  • Peer-to-Peer networks
  • Blended network attacks
  • Email
  • Intrusions

FortiGate Firewall from Nouveau Solutions

We are experts in IT security and have been a Fortinet Platinum Partner for many years. Amongst our team of security professionals we hold a host of Fortinet accreditations, NSE 4, 5, 6, 7 and the much sought after NSE 8 (the highest technical accreditation you can achieve as a Fortinet partner).

As a Fortinet Platinum level partner, we are fully-qualified to take care of your entire security infrastructure. Our managed IT security service includes assessing your entire network for weaknesses, before designing, configuring, supporting and proactively monitoring the integrity of your network. Our proactive managed IT security service oversees the management of your firewall, compliance, email security, endpoint protection and SIEM, constantly checking for potential threats and taking appropriate action to keep your network safe.

To learn more about the benefits of choosing a FortiGate firewall, get in touch today. Or, alternatively, you can purchase a FortiGate firewall directly from https://www.nouveau-store.co.uk/.


” I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the prompt assistance you provided us with during this project.

Could you kindly express our gratitude to your engineers for the excellent work they carried out for us. “

Farhad | London Borough of Hounslow

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” Being responsible for IT in an organisation which is very tech dependant is a real challenge, especially having no formal IT experience myself.  Having the Nouveau team at the end of the phone is a real-life saver and I have needed a life line many times.  I most appreciate the accessibility, knowledge and friendliness of the team. “

Judith Ball | CFO | Aspen Worldwide

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” The company I work for has been using Nouveau Solutions for the past 15+ years and I have had the pleasure myself to build up a good, close relationship with them for about 12 of those years.

Nouveau Solutions have dedicated teams for each different area that are made up of very knowledgeable technicians and engineers that specialise in their specific area of expertise. It is due to this that I always feel confident that Nouveau Solutions will be able to deliver us any IT services that we may request from them (there has been a lot over the years).

They have always gone above and beyond to deliver high quality professional IT services to meet any requirements that we throw at them within any timeframes that we may set.

On top of the ad-hoc IT services we request from Nouveau Solutions, they also monitor, manage, maintain and support some of our network infrastructure and have always been on hand to resolve any issues that may be noticed via their monitoring or raised by us within a timely manner.

We also purchase the majority of our IT equipment including hardware, software and licensing through Nouveau Solutions which is always at a reasonable price and always received within a timely manner.

Since day one of our relationship with Nouveau Solutions we have been appointed to the same one account manager which has allowed him to get to know our business very well. The service that has been provided by him to us has been nothing but exceptional. He always comes across as knowledgeable in any business discussions that we may have and has always been happy to take the time to communicate with us, make us aware of anything that we need to be aware of, or provide us with updates on anything.  I have always had the impression that his main priority is to ensure that we are happy with everything that Nouveau Solutions provides to us and he will do anything to ensure that is the case.

All in all, I have nothing but praise to offer for Nouveau Solutions and would highly recommend them to any company that was looking for an IT services company.  There are definitely no plans here to switch to a different IT services company for the foreseeable future.

Here’s to many more years with using Nouveau Solutions! “

Lee Burgess | IT Systems Administrator | Combined Independents (Holdings) Ltd

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” Nouveau have been brilliant from start to finish – very professional and competitive with their service and pricing. We needed a large number of Firewalls to deploy across our global company over a very short time period and thanks to Jack’s excellent availability, Nouveau’s turn-around time was extremely swift, even with nearly no notice. Nouveau not only provided us with the hardware  – one of their competent technicians supplied us with some design work in the past to help with our data centre firewalls replacement project! Nouveau have been great to work with. “

Hassan Ashraf | IT Service and Infrastructure Manager | Everlight Radiology

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” In the summer of 2017, I approached Nouveau in the hope of finding a competent partner that could help us through an upcoming hardware refresh. A priority of ours was to discover a local business (within 20 miles) that excelled and specialised in HPE, Dell, Fortinet and Microsoft/Office 365 as we planned to refresh our whole core infrastructure,. This included storage, infrastructure hosting and networking (core, access and perimeter) for our headquarters and our other branches. After an extensive phase of speccing, detail planning and quoting, Andy Swain and his team were able to offer a “spot on” solution for our demands with a very high cost/value ratio. This project led to a very open and trusting partnership with Nouveau and made them our No.1 partner within IT. “

Stefan Nader | Ensilica

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